ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you have high blood pressure caused by a pheochromocytoma, excessive force on your artery walls can seriously damage many of your vital organs. The higher your blood pressure or the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage.
Untreated high blood pressure may lead to:
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Acute respiratory distress
- Visual impairment
- Premature death
A severe increase in blood pressure (hypertensive crisis) may occur with sudden release of a large amount of adrenaline hormones from the tumor. Any reading above 180/110 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is considered severe high blood pressure. This can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as stroke or abnormal heart rhythm (heart arrhythmia).
Long-term exposure to these hormones can cause:
- Damage to your heart muscle
- Congestive heart failure
- An increased risk of diabetes
- Young WF, et al. Clinical presentation and diagnosis of pheochromocytoma. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 13, 2010.
- Young WF, et al. Treatment of pheochromocytoma in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 13, 2010.
- Blake MA, et al. Adrenal imaging. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2010;194:1450.
- Mazzaglia PJ, et al. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy: Balancing the operative indications with the technical advances. Journal of Surgical Oncology. 2010;101:739.
- Patient education: Pheochromocytoma. National Institutes of Health. www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/patient_education/pepubs/pheo.pdf. Accessed Dec. 19, 2010.
- Pheochromocytoma. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec12/ch153/ch153h.html. Accessed Dec. 19, 2010.